Ellie Haskell is in dire need of a vacation. Life has become increasingly hectic of late, with her busy work as an interior designer on top of taking care of the twins and baby Rose, and her husband Bentley's bustling cafe business. In fact, Ben and Ellie haven't had a holiday in years. But today their bags are packed for a long-awaited trip to France. With blissful daydreams of her romantic getaway dancing in her head, Ellie sets off to do some last-minute errands. Imagine her distress when she encounters a chain-smoking Gypsy who warns her, "Take that trip at your peril!" Trying to shake off her feelings of foreboding, Ellie returns home - but she is barely in the door when Ben stops her dead in her tracks: "Ellie. You have a surprise visitor." It is her prodigal father, Morley Simons, returning after many years. Far from greeting her with a face wreathed in smiles, Morley is sobbing into a hanky. Morley comes toting the ashes of his platinum blond lady love, Harriet - a femme fatale who has become a highway fatality. He's promised to return the urn containing her mortal remains to her relatives, who duly show up to receive the unwelcome news that Harriet has been temporarily misplaced. When another accident makes Morley a murder suspect, Ellie begins to question the urn's contents and must ask herself: Is he a pawn in a deadly game? Is this what the Gypsy had foreseen?
About Dorothy Cannell
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Published January 1, 1999